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Reimagining the totem

August 2nd, 2019

Brian Jungen, left to right, 1980, 1970, 1960 (2007). Polyester, metal, painted wood on paper sonotube, 396 x 122 x 91 cm each. Courtesy of the artist. Collection of the Art Gallery of Ontario.  Purchased with the assistance of The David Yuile and Mary Elizabeth Hodgson Fund, 2007; Promised Gift of Rosamond Ivey; Gift of Michael and Sonja Koerner, 2018, Toronto.© Brian Jungen

Sometimes the deceptively simple concepts behind the works in Brian Jungen Friendship Centre betray their much deeper meaning. Take the five works titled 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000. Casually dubbed “tube stacks” by Brian Jungen, each of these works is constructed from golf bags stacked around a large cardboard tube to resemble the totem pole carvings created by Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest.

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Art pick of the week: INFINITY MIRRORED ROOM – LET’S SURVIVE FOREVER

July 31st, 2019

Yayoi Kusama, INFINITY MIRRORED ROOM – LET’S SURVIVE FOREVER, 2017. © YAYOI KUSAMA. Courtesy David Zwirner, New York; Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore/Shanghai; Victoria Miro, London/Venice. Photography by Dan Bradica

Who could forget our wildly popular spring 2018 exhibition Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors? We can’t! Following the momentous outpouring of love shown for Kusama’s spectacular work, we launched #InfinityAGO, a crowdfunding campaign that saw more than 4,700 generous donors contribute to give year-round access to this week’s art pick: INFINITY MIRRORED ROOM – LET’S SURVIVE FOREVER.

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It’s not that scary

July 30th, 2019

Image by the AGO.

This AGOinsider story was written by Cassandra Engineer, AGO Communications Coordinator.

Picture this: you’re wandering through the AGO, making your way through beautifully detailed landscape paintings and lifelike portraits, when you’re met face-to-face with a large abstract work. You turn to your friend and say, “I can do that!”. This is the story of how I tried to prove it.

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5 in 35: travel edition

July 30th, 2019

Aelbert Cuyp. View of Dordrecht, c. 1655. Oil on wood, Panel: 40.6 × 61.9 cm. Bequest of W. Redelmeier, 1956. © Art Gallery of Ontario 56/22

Have friends or family visiting Toronto? No trip to Canada’s most dynamic and exciting city is complete without a stop at the AGO! We know travel schedules can be busy, so if the sightseeing checklist you’ve come up with is jam-packed, or the tour bus only pulls up for a pit stop, we’ve got you covered.

Here are some of our favourite works from the AGO Collection hailing from five different countries, so you can embark on a 35-minute world tour in the heart of Toronto.

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Mosquitoes not included

July 30th, 2019

Blockitecture Garden City. Image by AGO.

So, you snagged an invite to that perfect cottage getaway – wahoo! What do you bring to say thanks to the host? Whether you’re houseboating in Gananoque or glamping in a yurt, shopAGO has artful gifts that will guarantee you a return invite – no matter who’s hosting. Need some inspiration? Kierin McNeill, assistant manager of shopAGO, has chosen her top picks for summer gift ideas.

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For the (Caribbean) culture

July 29th, 2019

Image courtesy of pexels.com

You may remember last month’s AGOinsider preview of the highly anticipated Montgomery Collection of Caribbean Photographs, recently acquired by the AGO. In keeping with the spirit of celebrating Caribbean culture, this Saturday, August 3 marks the 52nd annual Caribana grand parade. Kicking off the final weekend of Toronto’s month-long Caribbean Carnival celebration, the parade of over 1.3 million people (the largest in North America) will jump and wave all the way down Lakeshore Boulevard from 8 am to 6 pm.

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Celebrating Celmins

July 29th, 2019

Vija Celmins, To Fix the Image in Memory I–XI, 1977–82. Eleven stones and eleven made objects (bronze and acrylic paint), dimensions variable. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, gift of Edward R. Broida in honor of David and Renee McKee © Vija Celmins. Photo: courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery .2005

Time is running out to see Vija Celmins: To Fix the Image in Memory. As of August 5, the exhibition will say goodbye to the AGO as it heads off to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Met) in New York City. Seeing is believing. And you definitely want to take a trip to the AGO to see the beautifully rendered drawings of ocean waves and night skies. To prove it’s worth the visit, we’ve gathered some of the reviews and visitor responses, praising the intricate details and extraordinary artistic processes of this titan of contemporary art.

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Art Pick of the Week: Portrait of Florence McGillivray

July 29th, 2019

Marion Long, Portrait of Florence McGillivray, 1934. Oil on canvas, 90.2 × 105.4 cm. Gift of Andrew and Margaret-Elizabeth Schell, 2018. © Art Gallery of Ontario  2018/3735

You may think you know your Canadian painters, but do you know Marion Long (1882–1970)? This week’s Art Pick spotlights the work of this Canadian painter with her beautiful portrait of yet another talented Canadian artist, Florence McGillivray. On view now on Level 2 in the J.S. McLean Centre for Indigenous & Canadian Art, Portrait of Florence McGillivray offers a look at the Toronto art community in a different era.

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News! Major Diane Arbus exhibition coming 2020

July 29th, 2019

Diane Arbus, Two girls on the beach, Coney Island, N.Y., 1958, 1958. gelatin silver print; printed later. 50.8 x 40.6 cm. Gift of Robin and David Young, 2016. 2016/934. Copyright © The Estate of Diane Arbus.

The striking black and white photographs of legendary American photographer Diane Arbus (1923–1971) revolutionized portraiture through the range of subjects she captured and their distinctive style. Primarily made in and around New York City, Arbus selected her subjects for their uniqueness – including couples, children, nudists, suburban families, circus performers and celebrities, among others she encountered in public spaces. You may remember last seeing her work at the AGO as part of our hit 2016 exhibition Outsiders: American Photography and Film, 1950s–1980s, and that same year, thanks to the generosity of a small group of donors, we acquired the world’s second largest collection of Arbus photographs.

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